President Maithripala Sirisena is seen opening a cultural centre at Nonagama, Ambalantota yesterday.
Picture by Sudath Malaweera
President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that Minister Mahinda Amaraweera will be given a better ministry other than the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to serve the people in a better way.
He said that he is prepared to make a change in his Cabinet portfolio, if having three ministers in charge of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources from Tangalle electorate has become an issue.
“I think there should be a change in the Cabinet portfolio as Fisheries Cabinet Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, State Minister Dileep Wedaarachchi and Provincial Health Minister H.W. Gunasena are representing the Tangalle electorate,”he said.
President Sirisena was speaking in response to remarks made by Soutern Provincial Minister Chandima Rasaputhra that the three Fisheries Ministers hail from the Hambantota district.
President Sirisena said that a period of transition in the distribution of ownership deeds occurred today with the distribution of 2900 ownership deeds to those in the Hambantota district who did not have ownership for the plot of land they owned for decades.
The President said so addressing a gathering of land owners who are eligible to receive ownership deeds at the International Convention Hall at Hambantota.
President Sirisena said that this mammoth task was possible due to the untiring efforts and dedication of the Southern Provincial Council Lands Minister Chandima Rasaputhra and the relevant authorities.
The President said that there was an era when the lower income group of land owners without ownership to their lands had to loiter about the relevant state departments where ownership deeds were distributed wasting their precious time.
President Sirisena said that most of the cases pending in courts islandwide are related to land disputes. But, after winning the cases the land owners never care to develop or cultivate these lands that would be beneficial to them.They abandon these lands which become shrub jungle.
The President said the country’s economy depends on agriculture as such agricultural activities should be carried out to develop the lands of those who receive ownership deeds.
President Sirisena said that the development of these lands is for the progress of human civilisation.
The President said that 2017 has been named the Year of Poverty Allieviation and as such, the people must make up their minds to indulge themselves in tasks that would alliviate poverty for themselves and others.
President Sirisena said that in 2016 and 2017 agricultural activities had dropped to 15 percent which is not a good sign.
The President made a request to the relevant land authorities to settle land disputes without political bias.The President said that all the districts in the country will be developed on an equal footing.
A cultural centre was opened at Nonagama, Ambalantota at a cost of Rs.20 million.
The setting up of the cultural cnters in the island had started in 1998 and this cultural center is the 191st cultural center.
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, Cultural Affairs Minister S.B.Navinna, Southern Province Chief Minister Shan Wijayalal De Silva, SPC Lands Minister Chandima Rasaputhra and SPC Agriculture Minister H.W.Gunassena were present on the occasion.(Daily News)